I’m trying to find artists to put on a list that will be The Baddest and Toughest Artists of All Time. I’m having a lot of trouble finding the baddest of them all. Maybe I would be on that list, a painter and performance artist, I am a fierce competitor and Spartan warrior. I may not be the fastest, strongest or smartest but there will be no one that will outwork more or give a greater effort. But am I a badass? No, far from it.
So, what makes an artist a badass? I think of Ernest Hemingway, fighting in WW1. Delivering goods to the front line only to take shrapnel to the leg and then go off to carry a wounded soldier to safety. In WW2 during a war long correspondent mission he led a group of vigilantes during or near the Liberation of Paris. That is badass.
I think of Caravaggio. Who was always a rebel and constantly in bar fights and trouble with the law. During one of these bar fights he killed another man. He escaped from the law and remained on the lam for the rest of his life. He often carried a sword with him to defend himself from those wanting to fight him and/or bring him to justice. He did all of this while painting grand masterpieces.
Of course there is the legendary samurai warrior Miyamoto Mushashi. Although he was a master swordsman first and regarded as one of the greatest warriors of all time in his later life he was also an author and considered a master painter.
I’m looking for traditional artists rather than music/film artists. There are plenty of musicians and actors that are badasses (LL Cool J beat the shit out of a home invader, I remember a story about Ernest Borgnine and how he beat the shit out of a would be carjacker at the age of 60 and Audie Murphy was the most decorated soldier and American hero during WW2 before going onto a successful film career). However, there aren’t many badass or valiant traditional artists. There has to be more than Hemingway and Caravaggio. Whether they’re just badass brawlers like Caravaggio or heroes like Hemingway there has to be more out there. We can’t all be sitting in a corner and painting pictures. There has to be someone! Help me find them! I’ve made it my quest to be the next badass/valiant artist, will I be number 4 on the list?